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Топики для сдачи экзаменов по английскому языку /english/

Culture in Great Britain

It you're staying in London for a few days, you'll have no difficulty whatever in finding somewhere to spend an enjoyable evening. You'll find opera, ballet, comedy, drama, review, musical comedy and variety. Most theatres and music-halls have good orchestras with popular conductors. At the West-End theatres you can see most of the famous English actors and actresses. As a rule, the plays are magnificently staged - costumes, dresses, scenery, everything being done on the most lavish scale.
The last half of the XVI and the beginning of the XVII centuries are known as the golden age of English literature, It was the time of the English Renaissance, and sometimes it is even called "the age of Shakespeare".
Shakespeare, the greatest and most famous of English writers, and probably the greatest playwright who has ever lived, was born in Stratford-on-Avon. In spite of his fame we know very little about his life. He wrote 37 plays. Among them there are deep tragedies, such as Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, light comedies, such as The Merry Wives of Windsor, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing.


Customs and traditions

I am going to tell you about English customs and traditions. First of all it concerns United Kingdom political system. In Great Britain there is no written constitution, only customs, traditions and precedents. After the English Revolution of Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy headed by King (now Queen, Elisabeth the second). Traditionally the queen acts only on the advice of her Ministers. She reigns but she does not rule.
Englishmen have traditions not only in political, but in social life. For example, London, the capital of England, is traditionally divided into three parts: the West End, the East end, and the City. The City is a historical, financial and business centre of London. The East End is the district inhabited by the workers, and the West End is a fashionable shopping and entertaining centre. English people like to spend their free time in numerous pubs where they can have a glass of beer and talk about different things with their friends.
The English are traditional about their meals. They eat eggs and bacon with toasts for breakfast, pudding or apple pie for dessert. Every English family has five o'clock tea. A typical feature of an english house is a fireplace, even when there is central heating in the house.
English people like domestic animals. Every family has a pet: a dog, a cat or a bird.
Politeness is a characteristic feature of Englishmen. They often say "Thank you", "Sorry", "Beg your pardon". Russian people, I think, have to learn this good custom.
Englishmen have many traditional holidays, such as Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Mother's day, Easter and others.


Education in GB

I know English boys and girls begin to go to school(it is called "infant") at five; at seven they go to junior schools or departments; at eleven they go to secondary schools. (After selection procedures at the age of eleven they can study at different types of secondary school: grammar schools which provide an academic education oriented towards university entry; secondary modern schools which were originally designed to give a general education with a practical bias(уклон); a few secondary technique schools offering a general education related to industry, commerce and agriculture; and schools providing all three or any two types of education, in separately organised streams known as multilateral or bilateral schools).
These schools consist of denominational and non-denominational schools. I'd like to yell you about non-denominational school. One must study there for 6 years. It's open to all boys and girls. There are the six years in this school. During the first year all classes receive the same basic core of subjects namely English, maths, history, geography, science, French, art, music, P.E., technical subjects & home economics. Toward the end of the second year pupils are asked to make their subject choices for third and forth years. Decisions on this stage are only taken after interviews involving parents, staff and the pupils themselves. The curriculum in 3rd and 4th years consists of compulsory section (обязательное разделение) which includes English, math and an options section made up of those subjects chosen by the pupil at the end of the second year. Optional courses are designed to give a sound basic education.
The system of higher education in Britain includes universities, colleges of education and advanced courses at various colleges.
There are more than 44 universities in Britain. But not all universities are equal. They differ from one another in history and tradition. The oldest and world-known universities are Oxford and Cambridge.
A university usually consists of colleges. The departments of the colleges are organised into faculties. In the university students have a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes. Lectures are given to large groups of students while seminars are much smaller than lectures. Lectures and seminars are all one hour in length, laboratory classes last 2 or 3 hours. The academic year divides into 3 terms. First two terms last for 24 weeks; the 3rd term is reserved for classes and examinations and lasts for six weeks.
After three years of study a university graduate will leave with the Degree of Bachelor of Arts or Science. Student can continue to take his Master's Degree and then the Doctor's.


Education in Russia.

Citizens of Russia have the right to education which is guaranteed by the Constitution. The public educational system in our country incorporates pre-school, general school, specialised secondary and higher education.
Pre-school consists of kindergartens and creches. Children there learn reading, writing and arithmetic. But pre-school education isn't compulsory - children can get it at home.
Compulsory education is for children from 6(7) to 17 years of age.
The main link in the system of education is the general school which prepares the younger generation for life and work in modern production. There are various types of schools: general secondary schools, schools specialising in a certain subject, high schools, lyceums and so on. Tuition in most of them is free of charge, but some new types of schools are fee-paying. The term of study in a general secondary school is 11 years and consists of primary, middle and upper stages. At the middle stage of a secondary school the children learn the basic laws of nature and society at the lessons of history, algebra, literature, physics and many others.
After 9th form pupils have to sit for examinations. Also they have a choice between entering the 10th grade of a general secondary school and enrolling in a specialised secondary or vocational school.
Persons who finish the general secondary school, receive a secondary education certificate, giving them the right to enter any higher educational establishment. Entrance examinations are held in July and August. Institutions are headed by rectors; the faculties are headed by the deans. One has to study in the institute for 5 years. Higher educational institutions train students in one or several specialisations.


Environmental problems

The poisoning of the world's land, air, and water is the fastest-spreading disease of civilisation. It probably produces fewer headlines than wars, earthquakes and floods, but it is potentially one of history's greatest dangers to human life on earth. If present trends continue for the next several decades, our planet will become uninhabitable.
Overpopulation, pollution and energy consumption have created such planet-wide problems as massive deforestation, ozone depletion, acid rains and the global warming that is believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect.
The seas are in danger. They are filled with poison: industrial and nuclear waste, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The Mediterranean is already nearly dead; the North Sea is following. The Aral Sea is on the brink of extinction. If nothing is done about it, one day nothing will be able to live in the seas.
Every ten minutes one kind of animal, plant or insect dies out for ever. If nothing is done about it, one million species that are alive today will have become extinct twenty years from now.
Air population is a very serious problem. In Cairo just breathing the air is life threatening- equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The same holds true for Mexico City and 600 cities of the former Soviet Union.
Industrial enterprises emit tons of harmful substances. These emissions have disastrous consequences for our planet. They are the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rains.
An even greater environmental threat are nuclear power stations. We all know how tragic the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are.
People are beginning to realise that environmental problems are not somebody else's. They join and support various international organisation and green parties. If governments wake up to what is happening- perhaps we'll be able to avoid the disaster that threatens the natural world and all of us with it.


Great Britain

The United Kingdom of G.B. and Northern Irelands is situated on the British Isles/ The British Isles consists of two large islands, G.B. and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244,000 square kilometres.
The UK is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. GB consists of England, Scotland and Wales and doesn't include Northern Ireland. The capital of the UK is London.
The British Isles are separated from European continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of GB is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.
The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called the Highlands, while the south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called the Lowlands.
There are a lot of rivers in GB, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters if Gulf Stream influence the climate of the British Isles. The weather in GB is very changeable. A fine morning can change into a wet afternoon and evening and the wrong side out. The english people say: "Other countries have a climate; in England we have weather." The English also say that they have three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon or when it rains all day long.
The weather is the favourite conversational topic in GB. After they greet each other they start talking the weather.
The best time of the year in GB is spring(of course, it rains in spring too). The two worst months in Britain are January and February. They are cold, damp and unpleasant. The best place in the world then is at home by the big fire. Summer months are rather cold and there can be a lot of rainy days. So most people who look forward to summer holidays, plan to go abroad for the summer.
The most unpleasant aspect of English weather is fog and smog. This is extremely bad in big cities especially in London. The fog spreads everywhere so cars move along slowly and people can't see each other. They try not to be run over by a car but still accidents are frequent in the fog.


The Hermitage Gallery

I'd like to tell you about the Hermitage Gallery, one of the largest and well known museums in the world. Two months ago together with my classmates I was on an exertion in S. Petersburg. I visited many places of interest including the Hermitage Gallery. I was greatly impressed by visiting this museum of art. It was founded in 1764 by Ecatherine the Second when she bought 225 pictures in Berlin. Now the Hermitage consists of five buildings.
Now I'd like to tell you about pictures, sculptures and other works of art I've seen in the Hermitage Gallery. A great number of wonderful pictures are offered there. Everyone can find some kind of pictures to enjoy, for example the pictures by the world's greatest masters : Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrands, Rubens and many others. All great schools of paintings are represented there: Italian, Spanish, German etc.
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